5 museums for your Boston bucket list

Spend chilly winter days at one of these unique local exhibits.

Inside-out globe at the Mapparium

See the world from a whole new perspective at the Mapparium.

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Boston’s museum scene is undoubtedly extensive, but some of the most interesting exhibits are often overlooked. Today, consider us your tour guides — we’ve curated five hidden gem museums to explore.

🗺️ Mapparium

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | Cost: $6

The Mapparium, part of the How Do You See the World? experience, is a stained-glass globe from 1935. The three-story, inside-out globe uses LED lights and lets visitors view the world before World War II.

🚒 Boston Fire Museum

Hours: Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | Cost: Free, Donations encouraged

Since 1983, this museum has occupied the old firehouse in the Seaport District. It preserves the memory of the Boston Fire Department, one of the oldest in the nation, and educates the public about events like the Great Boston Fire of 1872.

🏆 The Sports Museum

Hours: Monday-Sunday, 12 p.m.-4:30 p.m. | Cost: $20

Founded in 1977, The Sports Museum is located inside TD Garden. Head to the information desk to catch a tour and enjoy half a mile of Boston sports memorabilia.

Pro tip: Check the schedule before you head over, as the museum is closed during games + concerts.

💧 Waterworks Museum

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Cost: Free

Visit this Chestnut Hill museum for free or pay $15 for a special access tour to explore its collection of steam engines. Fun fact: The location was originally a pumping station of the Boston Metropolitan Waterworks.

🏰 Hammond Castle

Hours: Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Cost: $20

Opened in 1929 by scientist and inventor John Hays Hammond Jr., this Gloucester castle is on the National Register of Historic Places. Take a guided tour to learn the history of the Hammond family.

Pro tip: Visit before the end of the month to see the castle decked out in Christmas decor.

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